The NBA league office confirmed that time should have expired when Kobe Bryant made a game winning shot against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.
The league office statement explained that "the time keeper did not want to let the clock decide the game." An anonymous source clarified that "[w]ith just 0.8 seconds remaining Kobe may not have had time to set up a decent shot if we started the clock when he received the inbounds pass" so the time keeper decided that "it was not up to [him] to decide the game, so he let Kobe spot up before starting the clock."
Lakers' Coach Mike D'Antoni commented that "They should start the clock, I think, in theory, but also in theory they want players to decide the game. So, I can understand it" before adding that "[t]his is Kobe Bryant was are talking about, the normal rules don't really apply, right?"
Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman, best known for losing game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals to Kobe's Lakers due to 22 inexplicable free throws awarded to the Lakers in the 4th quarter, was fuming after the game. "If you are going to not start the clock in order to give Kobe a shot, why not wait until we get another shot as well?" The league office fined Adelman $5,000,000 for making "a really retarded comment."
When asked about whether the shot came in time at shootaround the next morning Kobe was incredulous. "If time is still on the clock, I got it off in time. Like Fish." referring to the game-winning shot Derek Fish took 0.6 seconds to make when the clock only had 0.4 seconds left.